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Friday, 1 April 2011

Natural Dyeing: Organic Cotton Baby Dresses

This was one of my first experiments in the wonders of natural dyeing. Although you could say I cheated somewhat by buying the natural powdered dyes by Earthues, but for my first experiments I wanted to try to get my head around the process of mordanting (preparing the cloth/fibre to take the dye) and then playing with resist and dip dyeing to really understand the possibilities.

I love the idea of really getting experimental with this medium however. I was kindly given a book called A Dyer's Garden and have my heart set on the idea of growing and harvesting my own dyestuffs, especially the most wonderful indigo. I'm just hankering for my own garden, one that I can really invest the time and energy into.

For now however I have Alkanet growing rampantly in my backyard, it's very invasive and common around East London and it makes the most wonderful greys and aubergine colours. I'm currently drying some roots and have some others soaking for use at a later date. I'll post about these real experiments soon, but for now here are some dresses I made from organic cotton knit fabric then dyed with a range of pigments including Madder, Teal, Fustic and Logwood purple and I only used small amounts of the non toxic cellulose fibre mordant alum acetate.



These dresses are made to fit a little girl approx 12 months to about 24 months. They are designed and made by me, in a beautifully soft organic cotton with little bows on the shoulders. Each one has been individually resist dyed in a range of natural earth dyes. You can find out more or pick one up on my Etsy shop.


  1. These are great. I so love the colours produced in a natural dye bath. I've been dyeing an old tablecloth with indigo today to make a skirt for my littlest. It's hanging on the line drying overnight so I can get stitching tomorrow.

  2. These are really beautiful!


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